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Quad partnership on track to produce at least 1 billion vaccine doses in India: Joe Biden

The United States and its international partners are working quickly to scale up vaccine manufacturing in other countries around the world so they can manufacture as well, Mr Biden said in his virtual address to the Global Summit to End COVID-19.

September 23, 2021 / 08:14 AM IST
On the 248th day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 57.11 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 39.35 lakh their second dose. (Representative image: Reuters)

On the 248th day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 57.11 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 39.35 lakh their second dose. (Representative image: Reuters)

The Quad partnership is on track to produce at least a billion vaccine doses in India by 2022, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday, asserting that nothing is more urgent than working together to defeat COVID-19 so the world is much better prepared for future pandemics.

The United States and its international partners are working quickly to scale up vaccine manufacturing in other countries around the world so they can manufacture as well, Mr Biden said in his virtual address to the Global Summit to End COVID-19.

"We're working with partner nations, pharmaceutical companies, and other manufacturers to increase their own capacity and capability to produce and manufacture safe and highly effective vaccines in their own countries," Mr Biden said.

"For example, our Quad partnership with India, Japan, and Australia is on track to help produce at least 1 billion vaccine doses in India to boost the global supply by the end of 2022. And we're providing financing and helping strengthen manufacturing in South Africa, and produce more than 500 million doses of J&J in Africa for Africa next year," he said.

The Quad grouping comprises Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Asserting that nothing is more urgent than all of them working together to defeat COVID-19 and that the world is going to be much better prepared for future pandemics, Mr Biden said that he is keeping the promise that America will become the arsenal of vaccines as it was the arsenal for democracy during World War II.

The US has already shipped nearly 160 million doses to 100 countries, more than every other country has donated combined. America's donations of a half a billion Pfizer vaccines through COVAX, that he announced before the G-7 summit in June, have already begun to ship, Mr Biden told the virtual summit from the White House.

"Today, I'm announcing another historic commitment. The United States is buying another half billion doses of Pfizer to donate to low and middle-income countries around the world. This is another half billion doses that will all be shipped by this time next year, and it brings our total commitment to a donation, of donated vaccines, to over 1.1 billion vaccines to be donated," Mr Biden said.

"Put another way, for every one shot we've administered to date in America, we have now committed to do three shots to the rest of the world," he said and thanked Pfizer and its CEO and chairman, Albert Bourla for being helpful in this regard.

"They've been and continue to be partners and the leader of this fight. The United States is leading the world on vaccination donations. As we are doing that, we need other high-income countries to deliver on their own ambitious vaccine donations and pledges. That's why today, we're launching the EU-US vaccine partnership to work more closely together and with our partners and expanding global vaccinations," Mr Biden said.
PTI
first published: Sep 23, 2021 08:15 am

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